Sunday, February 25, 2007

Big, Fat DNF

Wow, what can I say. I am truly humbled. The knee felt absolutely perfect today, the weather couldn't have been better, and up until mile 14 or so, I was running the race I wanted to run and doing just fine. Everything was working in my favor. And then, the wall. I saw the signs shortly after the half-marathon point, and then they increased expotentially to the point where I knew qualifying for Boston was no longer going to be possible. So, rather than slogging through and finishing, I decided to save my body and drop out a little before mile 18.

I'm bummed. But at the same time I know I gave it my all, and I'm pretty content with that. I just didn't have it in me. More work needs to be done, and I'll get there.

Mile 1 6:54
Mile 2 6:53
Mile 3 7:01
Mile 4 7:02
Mile 5 7:00
Mile 6 6:52
Mile 7 6:55
Mile 8 7:03
Mile 9 7:01
Mile 10 6:50
Mile 11 7:08
Mile 12 7:01
Mile 13 7:02
Mile 14 7:12
Mile 15 7:35
Mile 16 6:46
Mile 17 7:26
To 17.75: 8:32/mile pace

While to me the splits look good on the computer screen and the fall and decision to DNF seems very abrupt, the splits alone don't tell the tale. What I was actually feeling was a very different story. Mile 15 felt twice as tough as the mile before and seeing the slow split startled me. I paniced, and somehow managed to fly that next mile also with immense effort. However, mile 17 felt even tougher and from there until the point I made the decision to drop out, expontentially tougher. Mind over matter just wasn't cutting it.

Part of me wonders that if I had stuck with shooting for 7:10/miles, things would have been different. But I decided about a month ago I was going to shoot higher. However, I feel little regret in going the route I did. Some regret, but just a little. It's what I chose to do and I thought I could do it for the duration, or at least until closer to the end and hold on. Just not the case.

I'm leaning towards the Sugarloaf Marathon in May. I'll be 35 years old by then, meaning I'll have five extra minutes to BQ. I anticipate being in much better shape by then also, not to mention a little wiser.

Got to meet Mark. Really nice guy and it was nice to meet someone from blog-land face to face. Thanks for cheering me on, Mark.

Big thanks to those of you out in blogland for your help along the way. Reading your training and race reports is an immense source of inspiration, not to mention information.


Mark said...

Great to meet you!

Those splits are fantastic and shows you will get that BQ and then some with the right training and racing.

BTW, I hear it's a real tough course, don't feel bad many others pulled out on this one.

Andrew said...

Jaime, Sorry to read this post. Your splits did shock me at first as I didn't realize you were going for 3:00 but as you say, it was your decision to give it a try. And there is no reward for those that do not take risks.

DNF's are tough. I had one at Boston of all places the only time I ran it.

Well, we know you have speed and you have been running those hills around your house with amazing ease. I guess it means we need to figure out how to read the training so the right pace is selected from the start. That's the trouble with Boston and getting the first time BQ. So much rides on hitting the number that a DNF 'costs more' if you will. However, once you cross the line, you'll find hitting the BQ time from then on is the last thing on your mind.

Well, you came out uninjured and unscathed it appears. Just another long run as far as the body is concerned. When I DNF'd Boston at mile 23, I was amazed at how quickly I recuperated and ran a 3:03 two weeks later at Holyoke. It's those final miles in the marathon that chew you up I guess.

Well, keep on training. It's obvious you're in for sub 3:10 really soon.

Love2Run said...

Bummer Jamie! We were thinking about you on our long run today and sending out good vibes. On the positive side, you went for it with no holds barred and will live to fight another day. It was a valiant attempt!

Michael Jay Dotson said...

I too was thinking about you on my long run today. Brave effort indeed.

This was a tough break - you were ready. This is the challenge of the marathon. You can do everything right and….

You have the determination and the ability. You will not be stopped.

oldLobo said...

As you noted, deciding to up your MP only a month out from the race likely contributed to this. You have to develop a high tolerance for the pace - there's nowhere to hide when you're out there for that long.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed you Jamie. I also dropped out, despite thinking my BQ attempt was a slam dunk. I was ahead of my goal until 9 miles. Then my nagging left Achilles injury raised its ugly head. I backed off, felt better, but bagged it just shy of mile 11. I agree, a DNF is not something you want to have happen. But then again, a serious injury would have been far worse.

Good luck and lets try to link up some time.

For me, I am going to get some long overdue biking in, left the Achilles heal a bit longer, then spend some quality time on my running form. No more speed work.


Jamie said...

TC - Sorry I missed you as well, and sorry to hear about the Achilles. We'll definitely have to get together for a run sometime.

Jamie said...

Thanks for the support everyone. Definitely a good learning experience, and hey, it seems that most runners who do marathons and ultramarathons on a regular basis (even those at a way higher level than I am) have a DNF, or even a few. Time to look forward.

Kurt said...

Wow. Sorry to hear about the DNF. I've only done that once on a century ride, and it sucks. Even when you know it's the right thing to do otherwise you'll do yourself an injury. I applaud you for not doing something stupid.

Thirty-five, huh? I'll be 38 in April and running and cycling my way away from the cold, merciless clutches of age!

I'm sure you'll be back and stronger than ever on your next attempt.

Anonymous said...

I'm proud of you for getting out there and giving it a go. Sorry it didn't work out for you. I'm not worried though - I know you will BQ soon.